The Past Year’s Best, Biggest Short Film Music Videos

Turning pop stars into actors is no small task, as the production on these pieces typically demand significant investment and vision. It’s with a tone of “bigger is better” that they are undertaken, and in some ways this seems accurate.

While the market of music videos has become increasingly crowded, music’s biggest names can set themselves apart from the pack and make a larger impact with a longer aesthetic accompaniment. In somewhat strange psychology, one may not care much to watch another new four-minute music video but will tune in if it’s packaged as a 10 minute mini movie. Or, at least, ones followers will participate with greater fandom for something that’s seen as more substantial.

And there are lots of them. The past few years have revealed pieces by more indie-leaning acts like Childish Gambino, Lana Del Rey, and Flying Lotus, whose Kahlil Joseph-directed short Until The Quiet Comes received a Special Jury Award for Short Film at the Sundance Film Festival three years ago. But more recently, larger artists have been jumping onboard the trend as well, including U2, Rihanna, Miguel and Eminem, among others — often, but not always, with some NSFW content involved as well.

As a review, here are some of the past year’s best or biggest short film music videos:

U2: “Every Breaking Wave”

Miguel: “Wildheart Chapter 1”

U2: “Song for Someone”

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Florence + The Machine: “Queen of Peace/Long and Lost

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Rihanna: “Bitch Better Have My Money”

Eminem: “Phenomenal” (available exclusively on Apple Music)


Julian Casablancas+The Voidz: “Human Sadness”

Mykki Blanco’s Dogfood Music Group: “C-ORE Preview”

Header: YouTube